What can Bookmetrix tell us about the impact of Springer Nature’s books
This paper reports on book impact assessment using bibliometrics, usage metrics and altmetrics. The objective of the study is to investigate the citation, usage, reach and readership of scholarly books published by Springer Nature during a three-year time-span after their publication using citations, downloads, social media mentions and online reference manager bookmarks data. The study population was limited to those Springer books published in 2014, covering four broad disciplines (pure sciences, social sciences, engineering and medicine) to study disciplinary differences. The 3 years’ span was chosen to make sure all books had enough time to attract citations, downloads, attentions and bookmarks. Data on 1116 randomly-selected books were obtained in July 2018 and they contained the total number of times each book was cited in CrossRef.com, downloaded in Link.Springer.com, mentioned in altmetric.com, and bookmarked in Mendeley.com over a three-year time window from January 1, 2015 to December 30, 2017. Although books are the preferred publication format especially in arts, humanities and social sciences, the results of book assessment based on the citation, usage, social media metrics from social science discipline was not apparent. This is evident as books in pure sciences were more frequently cited, books in medicine received more social media attentions and engineering books had the highest download counts and Mendeley bookmarks. The results also demonstrated that Crossref citations and SpringerLink downloads correlated significantly in all four disciplines indicating books with more download statistics also accumulated higher citation counts. The study is significant to provide evidence that alternative sources such as usage-based and social media-based metrics could act as complement to traditional citation-based measures for assessing the impact of books and/or book chapters in a multidimensional way.
KeywordsBook impact assessment Bibliometrics Usage metrics Altmetrics Crossref citation Mendeley bookmarks
This research received no specific Grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for profit sectors.
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